Minneapolis police bust 53 johns in six-day sting

Police ran the undercover sweep from July 12-17.
Police ran the undercover sweep from July 12-17.

Apparently lunch is a popular time to solicit a prostitute on East Lake Street.

Minneapolis police busted 53 johns in an undercover sting operation in the area surrounding Lake in six days, making a significant amount of the arrests during lunchtime, says police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington.

"I think it's just a time that people have a break," she says. "They feel like they can come down to the Third Precinct or wherever and take care of their needs at lunchtime."

SEE ALSO: Canadian legislator Mike Allen resigns after he's busted in St. Paul prostitution sting

Tied to a national effort to crack down on johns, officers focused the sweep on the troubled blocks surrounding Lake between 3rd and 17th Avenues South, says Barrington.

"It has been an ongoing concern with that neighborhood area," she says. "We were working on a detail, and then the national detail came up too, so it just made perfect sense to do it all together."

Fox 9's Tom Lyden embedded with police during the sting, and offers a fascinating first-hand account, complete with a couple of confrontational interviews with those being cuffed (watch the video here):

On Wednesday, the women wearing the tight shorts were actually undercover cops who walked the walk and talked the talk. When they used the code word "condom," police would move in. They arrested one suspected john after another.

Police also arrested three people for narcotics, one for promoting prostitution, two for obstruction, and five for loitering. They seized a total of 23 vehicles.

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